We hear a lot about autism in the news and from families who care for children with autism. We don't hear nearly often enough, however, from children who actually live with autism. A speech by one young man, Eli Rosenberg, shows that we should more often.
He gave the speech last year when graduating from elementary school, but it's just now getting the widespread attention it deserves after his mom responded to a question on The Huffington Post about who people are inspired by. Her answer: "My son." After watching the video, it's clear why.
Eli bravely marches up to the podium and tells the crowd how in addition to being a typical boy who loves Legos and video games, he also has autism. He says that in the six years he's been at Pinetree Elementary School, he's learned so much and made friends. He thanks his classmates for not bullying him, not making fun of him, and for accepting him as he is.
Then he offers them a challenge:
We are all different. Not less, just different. We all have things we're good at, things we need to work on, and things we need help with. Whenever you see someone else who is different, instead of just judging them or being a bully, I challenge you to offer help and treat that person with the kindness you have shown me over the last six years. Remember, all of you can make a difference in someone's life. You've already made a difference in mine.
What an amazing young man. If only all children with autism could have such positive experiences. Sadly we know they don't always, but it's heartwarming to see such a great example of kindness and inclusion. Watch the speech for yourself and be inspired.
Do you love this speech?
Image via PilgrimSoulInYou/YouTube